What Has Been The Experience Of These Oregon Entrepreneurs After Shark Tank?

It appears as though the show Shark Tank, which is a full-throated celebration of American sink-or-swim capitalism, is on television around the clock, on a loop that is always being updated with new episodes.

This particular week commemorates the long-running series’ 300th episode and counting, stretched out over 14 seasons and spawning international imitators from Nepal to Colombia. In addition, the serial is still airing new episodes.

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The basic idea is as follows: A rotating panel of “sharks,” who are venture capitalists and enthusiastic publicity hounds, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and real estate doyenne Barbara Corcoran, listen to a bells-and-whistles elevator pitch from hopeful founders seeking investments and support for their nascent businesses, generally for a consumer-driven product with a whimsical name. Everyone walks away with a signal enhancement, and some people even depart with a monetary investment.

Oregon Entrepreneurs After Shark Tank
Oregon Entrepreneurs After Shark Tank

There have been major breakthroughs (Bombas socks, with lifetime sales of over $225 million, presently hold the crown), and there have been plenty of failures. Along the road, quite a few people from Oregon have put their money where their mouth is and tried their luck in the tank.

Tate Koenig, a resident of Oregon, opened the new season in late September this year with his second attempt at getting the sharks to bite on one of his ideas. Previously, he had attempted but failed to interest the panel in his Cheese Chopper, which is similar to a multi-tool for large blocks of cheese.

This time, Koenig found a better reception for his “pizza packer,” which is a collapsible Tupperware for storing leftover pizza in the refrigerator. It doesn’t matter if you only have one slice left or if you over-ordered and have seven pieces left but don’t have room in the refrigerator to jam a cardboard box in there; the “pizza packer” can store it all.

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The entirety of it can be taken apart and reassembled into microwave-safe containers in a matter of seconds, making it ideal for transporting leftovers to the workplace or sending them with children as lunch.

Koenig made a smart move by rejecting an offer from Cuban for $1.5 million, which would have required him to give up all ownership of his company. Instead, he accepted an investment of $100,000 from QVC queen Lori Greiner in exchange for a 13% stake in his business. Koenig’s decision paid off handsomely.

In his honour, we are going to take a look back at some of the most prominent Oregonians who have ever pitched sharks and see where they are now.

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